Tommy Lloyd says Arizona effort wasn't good enough last season
Tommy Lloyd didn’t spare feelings on Monday when he met with reporters on the first day of practice for his Arizona Wildcats.
Though they won a second consecutive Pac-12 Tournament title last season, reached 28 wins, and earned a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament, Lloyd said the year wasn’t good enough. Not surprising given the way it ended, with the UA flaming out in the first round.
“Our culture probably wasn’t strong enough,” Lloyd said, “and our effort wasn’t good enough when we needed it most.”
The Wildcats lost 59-55 to 15-seed Princeton in the opening round of the tournament.
Four of that team’s top six scorers are all gone.
Oumar Ballo and Pelle Larsson return for the 2023-24 season, and Lloyd — who admitted he “sliced” the rotation too thin a season ago — spent a great deal of energy this offseason trying to build depth.
Three transfers joined the group, all of them expected to be significant contributors. Guard Caleb Love comes over from North Carolina. Jaden Bradley joins him in the backcourt after a year at Alabama. And forward Keshad Johnson — one of the top transfers in the previous cycle — comes over from San Diego State.
Freshman guard KJ Lewis was part of a four-man freshman class.
“I felt like I owed it to the program to increase our margin for error,” Lloyd said. “One of the ways was adding more depth. I’m excited. I think we have great guys that are about the right thing.”
Lloyd’s starting point guard for each of his first two seasons transferred away, so there will be someone new coordinating the offense this upcoming season. The alpha dog on his 2021-22 squad, Benn Mathurin, was never truly replaced either.
The Wildcats should look different. Just how much is the key question.